NAACP Cincinnati members ask Smitherman to step down - WAFB 9 News Baton Rouge, Louisiana News, Weather, Sports

NAACP members ask Smitherman to step down

CINCINNATI, OH (FOX19) -

On Thursday, some members of the NAACP Cincinnati wanted president and city councilman Chris Smitherman to step down.

A group of people gathered outside the meeting at the Unity Baptist Church, calling for Smitherman to give up his post. They say it's his political background and time spent in City Hall that's getting in the way of the group's message for civil rights.

Outside the regular meeting, a group of people arrived early with that message for Smitherman to step down.

"I've served this organization for many years.  I love the community.  I love the people, and I want to focus on civil rights issues.  It's not a personal thing against Mr. Smitherman.  But, let's focus on civil rights issues," said member Franki Kidd.

That group is calling for Smitherman's resignation because they say what he wants to do politically is clouding his leadership of the group.

"There are a lot of issues like high unemployment, the high murder rate, crime, safety, and we need to focus on those issues.  Mr. Smitherman, he wants to focus on, I believe, his political career," added Kidd.

That motion was not brought up in the meeting.  But, Smitherman told us there's no such motion anyway.

"There isn't a motion.  There's a process that you go through.  It's called an Article 10.  The national office recognizes it.  If they want to do that, that's what they go to," Chris Smitherman told FOX19.

He also told us the efforts of such a small group of people are meaningless. 

"There are 2,400 members.  So when you have 30 or 40 people, what does that mean?  Nothing," added Smitherman.

Police were called to the meeting on a disorderly conduct call.  One woman was reportedly asked to leave or be arrested.

Without bringing up the idea to oust Smitherman at the meeting, other people say they fully expect this process to continue.

"I believe members will file an Article 10 with the national kind of going through all the facts.  That's the proper way to do it," said member, Robert Richardson, Jr.

Copyright 2013 WXIX. All rights reserved.

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